I don't really wear red lipsticks because they're not really my thing. For better or worse (but often worse), I tend to favour pink lipstick, followed by peachy or coral colours. Red always seems to be a little too loud, serious, grown up, in-your-face. I'm just not bold or adventurous enough to wear it in the daytime. Red can make the definitive statement lip, but I don't have that many occasions in my social calendar worthy of glamorous makeup with a red lip as the centrepiece (and by "that many", I mean none).
Nevertheless, I seem to have collected no less than six red lipsticks. (There's actually more in the form of lip gloss, lip stains and products in palettes, for example the vibrant cherry red in Revlon's Multi-Use Palette, but we'll stick with lipsticks for now.)
- Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Candy Apple
- Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Cherry Tart
- Revlon ColorBurst Lip Butter in Red Velvet
- Revlon Matte in Strawberry Suede
- Revlon ColorBurst Lipstick in True Red
- Rimmel Lasting Finish By Kate Lipstick in 11
Yeah ... I really like Revlon.
l-r: Candy Apple, Cherry Tart, Red Velvet, Strawberry Suede, True Red, 11
Of these, my favourite is Cherry Tart (lip swatch here), as I find it's the most wearable in terms of sheerness and the colour itself. Candy Apple is basically the warmer and more orange version of Cherry Tart. Red Velvet is absolutely luscious texture-wise (truly buttery, glossy and moisturising on the lips), but too dark and bordering on vampy for everyday wear. On my lips, it's more of a dark, brownish brick red with a bit of burgundy. Sheered out, it makes a typically autumnal shade, a less intimidating reddish wine colour. Strawberry Suede is sadly discontinued (much to the dismay of Lisa Eldridge), but I'm sure it's relatively easy to track down on Ebay or chemists and the like. It's an incredibly vibrant, orange-based, retro red. The ideal bright summer lipstick that instantly lifts the complexion. True Red and Rimmel Lasting Finish in 11 are fairly similar on my lips, the only difference being 11 is darker and more blue-based. True Red is brighter, a touch more orange in tone and slightly sheerer, but only because 11 is so densely pigmented. I was spurred to buy 11 after reading Paula Joye rave about it, and while it's an excellent quality lipstick, it's way too intense for me if applied straight from the tube. But a small amount mixed with lip balm could make a universally flattering red lip. Maybe I don't need Russian Red after all.